Friday, January 25, 2008

Writing on the Wall?

The big news today? Tony Giarratano re-injured his surgically repaired shoulder, and won't be ready in time for Spring Training next month. I kid, I kid. The Minnesota Twins have finally opened up their wallets to sign...Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau to new deals. Morneau who had just settled for $7.4 million to avoid arbitration with the Twins will get $80 million spread out over 6 years. Cuddyer received a 3-year deal for $23 million. While it is smart for the Twins to lock up these 2 players, in addition to Joe Mauer who is under contract through '11, to me this indicates a clear sign that Johan Santana is all but gone. Everyone has speculated and assumed that he would be traded this offseason, and at the latest July 31st, but there was always the option that they could dig deep and resign him. However, with their payroll as it is, the only way they could contend now and in the future is by signing their foundation players to long term deals rather than put all their eggs in Santana's basket. The Twins owner, Carl Pohlad, certainly has the money to increase the Twins budget and sign Santana, but there's been no indication of that scenario happening anytime soon. It seems to me with Cuddyer and Morneau having new deals, there's no long term future for Santana (already a given), and a solid foundation in Morneau, Mauer, Cuddyer, and Delmon Young, all locked up through at least 2011, a trade of Santana for multiple prospects and/or young players with under a year of service time would make even more sense than before. My quick take on this means that Santana is going to be dealt to the Mets in the near future for a prospect package centering around Fernando Martinez. It was a long shot that he'd stay with the Twins from the get-go, but with these new signings, the Twins have all but packed Santana's bags for him.

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